BSEE Review of the 1st round of SEMS audits


BSEE finally released its SEMS summary of the audits that were completed in November of 2013.  Below is a copy if you want to read it, for those that don’t want to read it; here are some key points for us to keep in mind.

  • 96% of the operators in the GOM have SEMS, but the system maturity and understanding amongst those operators vary significantly
  • BSEE said the audits “did NOT produce a meaningful performance assessment”
  • Emergency Response” and “Auditing” were the best elements of SEMS the operators understood, had documented and implemented. However, lacking was putting into effect “lessons learned” from audits and drills
  • A strong focus among all operators : “Training” and “Safe Work Practices
  • Pre-Startup Review” was lacking by operators and by auditors suggesting “poor understanding”
  • A common finding was that operators have a documented MOC process but did not or could not show how they did it
  • Some audit reports were nothing more than a checklist which limited BSEE’s ability to asses degrees of implementation or effectiveness (when I was offshore, I was present for a SEMS audit by a non COS approved I3P Auditor and that’s exactly how they did it – a checklist)

Conclusions by BSEE

  • Operators, in general did NOT provide evidence that they are implementing SEMS as an effective management tool


  • Maturity of the SEMS program must be taken into account when auditing

BSEE focus for 2nd Audit Cycle due by June 5, 2015

  • Establishing expectations for data control to encourage fully supporting the audit findings
  • Measuring program maturity and effectiveness and incorporating a SEMS maturing measure or performance indicator
  • Engaging operators to discuss recognized best practices and lessons learned for HSE
  • Conducting “focused audits” on critical process elements
  • Continued work with the Center for Offshore Safety to improve its audit protocol and encourage a “more comprehensive analysis for each item
What do I think all of this means?
  • Audit protocol will change again & now become more subjective & dive a bit deeper in “each item” if BSEE has there way, especially in the Elements of MOC, Pre-Startup Review & in my personal opinion based off of previous discussions with BSEE and members of the COS – Training
  • I think that many of the clients Wood Group ODL deals with will likely be held to a higher standard since most of them have had a SEMS program (of some sort) for several years now and will now be judged on SEMS system maturity
  • All operators will now have to move past just having a SEMS program to now using SEMS as an “effective management tool
  • Pre-Startup Review , MOC , and Data Control has been becoming a hot topic with our clients that we have been helping with for several months now, I have a feeling it will pick up a good deal

You can find the full BSEE report below.

Confined Space Incident Kills 3: The Never Ending Threat | Lifeline Strategies

Confined Space Incident Kills 3: The Never Ending Threat | Lifeline Strategies.

Here is a good story that Ken Wells posted.  He has some pretty good HSE related posts on his blog at Lifeline Strategies.

This topic, Confined Space Entry, Wood Group ODL just had a safety briefing over not 2 weeks prior over a similar incident.  Luckily it wasn’t us, but this sort of incident happens often, why, because many of the workers aren’t trained properly in real-life scenarios.  When we see someone injured, we want to help, but in this case, it is the exact opposite of what we should do.

“SEMS or PSM on Land” – Official magazine of the Association of Energy Servicing Companies

Official magazine of the Association of Energy Servicing Companies.

For those of you that have ever worked in the oil and gas business offshore, you know what Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) is and if you work on land you know what Process Safety Management (PSM) is.  I’ve audited for both and there is a HUGE difference in the application and adoption.

PSM has been around for 25 years, but o&g hasn’t been using it in many places except on a voluntary basis.  SEMS has only been around for a few years and only just became mandatory for all operators in the Gulf of Mexico in Federal waters.

In most cases, SEMS and offshore operations in general are taken far more seriously than land based operations, but as you can see from the article, it looks like that just might be changing sometime in the near future.  I guess we’ll see

Stay safe!

“Advanced Safety Management” by Fred Manuele. Focusing on Z10 and Serious Injury Prevention

Earlier today I was asked what books or courses have I taken that I thought I learned the most from.  To date, I believe this one is it.  It opens you up to a new way of thinking and how to approach Serious Injury Prevention.  If you’re a Safety or Risk professional, you should pick this book up for a great read.  This was a class at Columbia Southern University, I think I still have all my quizzes associated with it, I’ll quiz you once you read it!

Advanced Safety Management by Fred Manuele
Advanced Safety Management by Fred Manuele

Outstanding Safety Manager – My old student – Ronnie Stelly

Here is a guy that I’m quite proud of.  Many years ago he was needing just a bit of guidance and the company we were working at wasn’t willing to give it.  Many companies these days simply don’t invest in their employees anymore.  While working offshore I had over 25 guys ask for help and guidance into becoming a “safety man”.  Of those 25, 4 actually made the cut.  Of those 4, 2 are now full-time safety guys and one has even gone as far as to get his Certified Occupational Safety Specialist (COSS), and it’s this guy pictured below.  He’s the one that set a series of goals for himself and get this, HE DID THEM!  That’s the key!  You have to break out of your comfort zone to grow and that’s exactly what Ronnie did.  Right now he’s THE Safety Man and has been for several months on a job in Virginia for Mammoet and Flour.  I think instead of calling him the safety man, he’s worked his was up to the title of HSE Professional, great job Ronnie!

Ronnie Stelly - HSE Professional
Ronnie Stelly – HSE Professional

Deepwater Horizon Blowout Animation – Safety Videos – Multimedia | the U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Deepwater Horizon Blowout Animation – Safety Videos – Multimedia | the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.

For all those young safety guys out there that aren’t familiar with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and the video’s they put out, follow the link and watch the Deepwater Horizon blowout, then watch some others that are even more interesting.  I’ve used several of there videos in safety presentations (even a few here at Wood Group ODL), they are extremely well done and you don’t have to worry about a hidden agenda.  Click on the link, add it to your favorites and use it.


How to Ask for a Raise & Keep in Mind, Everyone is Expendable

How to Ask for a Raise.

Over the past few months, I’ve had 3 different people come up and ask me for advice on how to ask for a raise from their respective employers.  Here is a worthwhile article that sums things up very nicely and should help most of you.  One of the biggest tips, BE PREPARED.  It works for the Boy Scouts, it applies here as well.

I’ve had a few people over the years and back when I was in my mid 20’s I was also one of these guys that thought I was worth way more than what my boss did.  I worked my way up and was listening to others on how great I was.  Soon I learned a very valuable lesson, EVERYONE is expendable.  This applies to the CEO of a major company that makes your annual salary in 1 month, so don’t think it doesn’t apply to you.  I made a mistake and basically didn’t do what the boss wanted because I thought I knew better.  He then placed me on a 3 day unpaid suspension for me to think about my career.  At the time I thought he just did me the biggest favor he could have by allowing me to go out and make the money that I thought (and was told) I was worth.

I learned a lot.  First, he was paying me ABOVE market value and more than what I could make at my top 5 choices.  In order to get somewhat close to what I was making, I would have had to drive 45 miles one way, versus the 5 miles I was currently driving.  To make matters worse, I wasn’t offered an immediate position at my top 5 choices and would likely have to go for a few weeks without a paycheck.  So, then I searched all postings in the classifieds and on the internet (this was back in the late 90’s, so the print papers where still rather big).  You know what I found out, there wasn’t that many companies hiring.  There wasn’t that many companies paying within $100 per week of what I was making, and back then $100 per week was HUGE.

Sometimes you need to take a step back and think before you go and ask for that raise.  Be prepared, know the market, do the RESEARCH!  If your company is not making it’s numbers and experiencing a down turn, wait before asking for that raise.  Believe me, if the company isn’t making it’s numbers, the managers know it and they are fully aware and you asking for more money isn’t going to go over well.  Use some common sense.

HESS Gulf of Mexico HSE

I just got word that Hess needs our (Wood Group ODL’s) assistance developing some Safe Work Practice tests for their offshore Gulf of Mexico employees.  For the next week or so, I’ll be stationed at their office making up test questions and possible answers.  This shouldn’t be too difficult, but if you guys have any good questions dealing with Working at Heights, Lock out / Tag out, Hot Work or SEMS, let me know and maybe your question will be given to all GoM HESS employees.

HESS check-in
HESS check-in